Continuing healthcare coverage upon military leave
If you cease to be eligible for health coverage under the Stryker Corporation Welfare Benefits Plan due to service in the U.S. military, you and your eligible dependents will be offered the opportunity to continue health coverage in accordance with the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, as amended (USERRA). You and your dependents may also be entitled to elect to continue your health coverage under COBRA if you cease to be eligible for health coverage due to your military service. Continuation coverage under USERRA runs concurrently with COBRA continuation coverage.
You may elect to continue health coverage under the Stryker Corporation Welfare Benefits Plan for yourself and your eligible dependents for the period that is the lesser of:
- Twenty-four months, beginning with the first day you are absent from work to perform military service; or
- The period beginning on the first day you are absent from work to perform military service and ending with the date you fail to return to employment or apply for reemployment as provided under USERRA.
If you give the Company advance notice of a period of military service that will be 30 days or less, the plan administrator will treat your notice as an election to continue your health coverage during your military service unless you specifically inform the Company, in writing, that you want to cancel your health coverage during your military leave. You will have to pay the required premiums for your health coverage, but you will not have to complete any additional forms or paperwork to continue your health coverage during your military service.
If you give the Company advance notice of a period of military service that will be 31 days or longer, the plan administrator will provide you with a notice of your right to elect to continue health coverage pursuant to USERRA and a form for you to elect USERRA continuation coverage for yourself and your eligible dependents. Unlike COBRA, your dependents do not have a separate right to elect USERRA coverage. If you want USERRA continuation coverage for any member of your family, you must elect it for yourself and all eligible dependents who are enrolled in health coverage under the Stryker Corporation Welfare Benefits Plan when your military service begins.
If you choose USERRA continuation coverage, you must return the USERRA election form to the plan administrator within 60 days of the date it was provided to you. If you do not timely return the election form, USERRA continuation coverage will not be available to you and your eligible dependents.
A special rule applies if you do not give the Company advance notice of your military service. In that case, you and your eligible dependents will not be provided with USERRA continuation coverage during any portion of your military service, but you can elect to reinstate your coverage (and the coverage of your eligible dependents) retroactive to the first day you were absent from work for military service under the following circumstances:
- You are excused from providing advance notice of your military service as provided under USERRA regulations (e.g., it was impossible or unreasonable for you to provide advance notice or the advance notice was precluded by military necessity),
- You affirmatively elect to reinstate the coverage, and
- You pay all unpaid premiums for the retroactive coverage.
For the first 30 days of military service, your required contributions for health coverage will be the same as the required contributions for the identical coverage paid by similarly-situated active participants. If your period of military service is more than 30 days, beginning on the 31st day of your military service your required contributions will be 102% of the cost of identical coverage for similarly-situated participants.
USERRA continuation coverage will be cancelled if you do not timely pay any required premiums for that coverage. If your USERRA continuation coverage is cancelled for non-payment of premiums it will not be reinstated.
The initial premium must be paid within 45 days after the date you elect USERRA continuation coverage. Subsequent premiums must be paid monthly, as of the first day of the month, with a 30-day grace period for timely payment. However, no subsequent premium will be due within the first 45 days after you initially elect USERRA continuation coverage.
Coverage will be suspended if payment is not made by the first day of the month, but will be reinstated retroactively to the first of the month as long as payment for that month is made before the end of the grace period. Payment more than 30 days late will result in automatic termination of your USERRA continuation coverage.
If you comply with USERRA upon returning to active employment after military service, you may re-enroll yourself and your eligible dependents in health coverage immediately upon returning to active employment, even if you and your eligible dependents did not elect USERRA continuation coverage during your military service. Reinstatement will occur without any waiting period, except for illnesses or injuries connected to the military service.